Go Back
frosted Coconut Layer Cake recipe

Coconut Layer Cake

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut-cream-cake-recipe, coconut-layer-cake, southern-coconut-cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Chill time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 25 minutes
Servings 16 pieces
Calories 581kcal


  • Cake:
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or buttermilk
  • ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Filling:
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 12 oz packet frozen fresh unsweetened coconut thawed
  • 1 8 oz sour cream
  • Frosting:
  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup salted butter softened
  • 2-3 cups confectioner sugar
  • ½ cup reserved coconut sour cream filling
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut for garnishing more as needed


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans or spray with baking spray, Set aside.
  • Cake: Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla for 2-3 minutes until fully combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour. Beat until fully combined, making sure to stop to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add ½ cup coconut, mix well.
  • Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
  • Meanwhile, to make the filling: In a medium size mixing bowl, stir together sugar, fresh coconut and sour cream until fully combined. Set aside. (Reserve ⅓ of filling in an airtight container chilled to add to frosting.)
  • To assemble: Cool cake layers in pans for 20 minutes. Carefully remove first warm cake layer to a wax paper lined cake stand. Use a long skewer or fork to poke holes all over the surface then spread with ⅓ of sour cream filling. Top with middle layer. Repeat poking holes over surface then spread with remaining ⅓ sour cream filling. (Only poke holes in TWO layers.) Place third layer on top. Let sit on the counter to cool completely, this will only take 15-20 minutes.
  • Cover assembled cake layers with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 day OR up to 3 days.
  • To make frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat together cream cheese, butter and reserved ⅓ coconut filling. Add 2-3 cups powdered sugar beating on medium speed until fully combined. You can add more powdered sugar if desired to make the frosting more stiff.
  • Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with flaked coconut gently pressing into frosting. Chill for at least 4 hours or until frosting is set.
  • Slice and serve, store leftovers covered and chilled. (This cake gets better and better each day)


Fresh unsweetened coconut is typically found in the frozen foods section with the other frozen fruits. If you are unable to find it substitute 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut in its place.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 581kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg